The Middle East is home to some of the most innovative ideas in entrepreneurship. As startups become more popular in the region, more individuals are turning to entrepreneurship as a viable business path, and these innovators are receiving more support than ever before. While an innovative idea serves as the backbone of any great business, the idea alone is not enough for success. The following are some of the things that potential entrepreneurs must consider before they invest in turning their ideas into reality:
Ideas need to be unique.
Many good ideas have the potential to generate money in a specific market, yet not all of these good ideas are unique. Entrepreneurs need to do their homework and ensure that no one else is offering the same service. If other businesses already exist in the market, then people need to be able to quickly and succinctly vocalize why their specific product or service is superior to the competition.
When entrepreneurs discover that other people have already had similar ideas, this does not mean that they necessarily need to abandon their business. Instead, they need to focus on how to differentiate their idea most effectively. Market research will help entrepreneurs make wise decisions about how to market their ideas.
Once they launch their business, entrepreneurs need to continue to do research because new competitors could arise at any time. Entrepreneurs need to be able to respond quickly and decisively to competitors to keep their customer base.
Businesses exist in the real world.
Some ideas sound great on paper, but once entrepreneurs start thinking about how they will play out in real life, these ideas can become an organizational nightmare. An excellent business plan can help ease the transition from paper to real life, so entrepreneurs should spend a lot of time working on how exactly they will turn a profit from their idea.
Business plans should focus on details in addition to the big picture. While it is important not to lose sight of the big picture, most translational mishaps happen in the details. A good business plan goes step by step through the process of creating and marketing the product or service, and it outlines exactly who will purchase the product and why. In addition, the business plan should look at specific markets in the Middle East and clearly explain why the idea will prove successful in the chosen area and how entrepreneurs can tweak it for success in other areas.
Timing is everything.
The best, unique ideas that are backed by a solid business plan can still fail because of poor timing. The market must be ready for a great idea before the idea can start to earn a profit. A great technological example from recent years is the revolutionary Google Glass, which people scoffed at because it hit the market too soon.
Ideas can also come to a market too late. Customers may be very interested in the new product but then quickly become distracted by a different new idea on the market. In this situation, the idea may be briefly profitable, but its impact will be very limited.
Entrepreneurs need to perform consumer research to ensure that individuals will react positively to their idea. This sort of research can help entrepreneurs judge whether the market is ready for the new product or service. For example, if surveys reveal that all customers are willing to embrace the product, then its target launch time may have already passed.
Lasting businesses see the big picture.
Some companies realize success only briefly because their scope is not quite as big as it should be. When developing an idea, entrepreneurs need to share it with trusted advisors and get their honest, open feedback. Innovators may feel protective of their ideas, but this sort of honest feedback can show them when their idea is not big enough.
Often, an entrepreneur’s idea addresses a very specific issue in an effective way, but it doesn’t confront an even larger underlying issue. When entrepreneurs identify this bigger problem and develop innovative solutions for it, they position their companies for long-term success.
A good way to judge whether the scope of the proposed company is large enough is to pitch the idea to potential investors. If investors respond to the idea with apprehension or hesitation, then entrepreneurs need to rethink their idea. However, if investors seem to really love the idea, then that is a good indication that the idea is expansive enough to move forward.
Execution is just as critical as planning.
Despite intensive planning, unexpected circumstances may arise. In these situations, entrepreneurs often need to make split-second decisions. When entrepreneurs have the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision, the company is likely to survive. However, it isn’t possible for one entrepreneur to be an expert in all aspects of business. This is why it’s important for entrepreneurs to find excellent employees to help execute their idea.
Entrepreneurs need to focus on hiring employees that complement their own competencies rather than duplicate them. With a skilled team that has a full range of business expertise, the execution can be as strong as possible. Typically, entrepreneurs should focus on bringing in individuals with a wide range of experiences and who are capable of wearing several hats in the beginning stages of the company. Entrepreneurs should then hire more specialized people as the company expands.